Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
June 9, 2003
WCR Letters to the Editor
Mandatory celibacy queried
For those of who were privileged to attend the reunion of ex-Oblates and wives in St. Albert on May 17-18, at the invitation of provincial superior Father Camille Piche, the event was overwhelming.
About 40 ex-Oblates and their wives were welcomed by active and retired Oblates. These 40 men did not sever ties with those dedicated active members of the missionary order. The warmth of hospitality, spiked with a lovely sense of la joie de vivre, surrounded all who attended the celebration of the Eucharist that was followed by a sumptuous banquet.
Who would have envisioned such an event some 25 years ago?
At one time in the history of the Church, priests were married. Let us look at 1596 when Ukrainian bishops and the papacy entered into the Union of Brest, pursuant to which the Ukrainians agreed to join the Catholic Church and to accept fully the authority of the pope and also continue to have married priests.
Furthermore, the notion of mandatory celibacy is not rooted in theological considerations nor is it a dogma of the Catholic Church. Celibacy however gained momentum in the Middle Ages in response to many historical matters and became further entrenched with the Council of Trent.
How do we, as Catholics in the 21st century, regard celibacy? Not too well, when it is imposed. After Vatican II, an exodus of priests has left a void in the Church. Many of those laicized priests would contribute vastly to a renewed Church wherein their talents and wisdom would truly breathe new life in the Church.
In concluding we are reminded of the many changes that our Church has undergone over the centuries. Perhaps, Fr. Piche has, with his honest and forward outlook, opened the door to a more realistic Church.
An Oblate gives his view of the Iraq war
As an Edmontonian most of my life, I have always been an avid reader of the WCR. I am still subscribed to it though I receive it sometimes four months late in Karachi where I am assigned as the Superior of a House of Oblate Formation. This week I received your issue of April 7 in which two articles touched me deeply: one on Richard Lapante and the other by Charles Moore expressing support for American British war in Iraq.
I laud the tribute to Richard Laplante. I know first hand of Richard's dedication to Catholic Education having sat with him on a curriculum committee established in the late '60's by Edmonton Catholic Schools to revise its High School Religious Education Program. Richard's approach was intelligent, thoughtful and thorough. I was pleased to make contact with him again in recent years as a member of the Light of Christ community.He always sought to promote values that he believed to be important not only for himself but for the life of the Church which he loved.
An article denouncing the dangers of pacificism also moved me. I must commend the author for expressing a view which contrast what most others may be writing in the WCR.
Even if the Pope has clearly expressed the Church's views against military intervention on the scale used in Iraq, Christians have the right to speak and act according to their conscience. This is true particularly of political leaders who carry the ultimate responsibility for the actions of their nation and who have access to privileged information.
As I praise this man for speaking his truth, however, I must also speak mine. As I sit on the other side of the globe from where I have lived all of life, I have felt pain and horror in watching CNN and BBC reports on the war on Iraq. This pain makes me want to scream: "I am sorry sir, but you are mistaken."
Rhetoric justifying war and pointing out the possible myopia of pacifism are one thing. Reality is quite another. The disproportion of the coalition's technology against calvary and foot soldiers of Iraq were comparable to killing a fly with a hammer.
Granted Saddam was a horrendous tyrant. God be praised for his demise. But can another man's sins justify our own? The crimes of Saddam can not justify the crimes of Western governments.
It was criminal for the U.S. and British forces to use their heavy military technology in the name of eliminating weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and liberating the nation from despotic rule.
When the invasion of Iraq was being reported and U.S. forces were beginning to move into Bagdad, CNN interviewed an American soldier who told the story of an Iraqi woman who had been found hanged. The story illustrated the callousness of the Saddam regime.
A few moments earlier, the same CNN reported that some fifty civilians had been killed by U.S. bombs.
Rev. Fred Groleau, omi
Jesus could bring the lost sheep home
In reply to Archbishop Thomas Collins' question "Who is being missed" and "What is needed in adult education" (WCR April 21), I am one of millions of parents who pray daily that their grown children will return to their faith.
Pat McDonald answered so piquantly it brought tears of hope to my eyes. (WCR May 12). They are all around us - the baptized who have fallen away and their unbaptized children.
If Archbishop Collins succeeds in getting a handle on this deplorable situation, I want him to be the next pope. We have waited 40 years for something effective to be done to bring them back.
The majority of them have shown no signs of coming back on their own.
Many are bitter, disillusioned and the grip of secularism is strong. We will have to find the baptized and the unbaptized and go to the sick and the dying and give them all a personal invitation to come back - please come back.
We have errors to correct first. Some in the past have brought attention to these errors but they were called heretics.
Some were but some were not.
Why did we disown the name of Jesus?
His Church once had the beautiful and most righteous name "the Church of Christ." Christ himself is universal. We should not have changed to the Roman name "universal" (Catholic).
Scripture says his Church will be known by his name. The Romans called his followers "the Christians."
There is a lot in a name. In the Apocalypse where Jesus appeared to John, Jesus lamented to him that they had disowned his name.
Many people dislike the word "Catholic." It is surprising that some other Church founder has not chosen to call their church "the Church of Christ" and someone still may and we will have lost it. Perhaps Jesus is still saving it for us.
The name "universal" sounds like an appropriate name for the old pagan Roman religion.
Only Christ had the authority to found a church and Christ's name would be a constant reminder that only his Church is authentic. Perhaps it is we who need to come back to the Church of Christ and all his lost sheep would come back too.
Saskatchewan woman renounces CWL membership
As a once longtime member of the CWL (I say this because I can no longer consider myself a member), I too presumed that the brief by the CWL to the House of Commons standing committee on same-sex unions had been misinterpreted.
However, I fail to understand how a once respected Catholic organization can blatantly make up their own rules on morals.
As Maureen Fisher stated (WCR May 5), the CWL appears to speak out of both sides of its mouth.
You can no longer speak for me.
Moose Jaw, Sask.